June 27, 2018 10:46:35 AM
In 2014, when Severstal was sold to Indiana-based Steel Dynamics, there was a bit of uneasiness accompanying the change in ownership.
That was understandable. Whenever a major industry changes hands, there is an element of the unknown about the future. How committed would the new owners be? What are there plans?
In short, Steel Dynamics was an unknown commodity and while company officials said all the right things, there actions would ultimately determine whether the sale would be good or bad for the community.
Yet in the span of just four years, those fears have been emphatically put to rest.
Tuesday, Steel Dynamics announced its plans for a $240 million expansion. This comes just two years after the company announced a $100 million expansion.
Since the plant was opened in 2005, what was initially a $650 million project has grown into a $2 billion enterprise.
Tuesday's expansion will create, at a minimum, 45 new jobs. Bear in mind, when the company announced its previous expansion, it said it would create 40 new jobs. Instead, it has created 140, said Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins.
Tuesday's announcement only reinforces the company's commitment to our community. In turn, there is no question that the community has been a good fit for Steel Dynamics. The county and state have supported the expansions by providing infrastructure improvements and other incentives. Having "skin in the game," as the saying goes, emphasizes a collaborative spirit that inspires confidence.
"I will tell you this," Higgins said. "The day SDI bought that mill was a bright day for Lowndes County."
We may not have realized that in 2014, but it's obvious today.
1. Possumhaw: Southern gospel singing LOCAL COLUMNS
2. Patrick J. Buchanan: The unpardonable heresy of Tucker Carlson NATIONAL COLUMNS
4. Our View: A community conversation becomes community action DISPATCH EDITORIALS